Week ending April 4th, 2024


AER: New AGS Online Interactive Mapping Application

Today, the Alberta Geological Survey (AGS) published its Alberta Geology, Minerals, and Energy Infrastructure Interactive Mapping Application (the application). The application and associated reference materials can be found on ags.aer.ca. A video tutorial can be found on our YouTube channel. 

This online interactive mapping platform increases data accessibility by combining spatial data sets from the AGS and the Alberta Energy Regulator. It enables First Nations and Métis communities, municipalities, landowners, and other interested parties to select, integrate, share, communicate, and interact with a wide variety of energy resource developments and metallic and industrial mineral potential data across Alberta.  

This application allows users to visualize, query, and download data sets using the links within the application. 

The AGS engaged with First Nations, Métis communities, and non-industry stakeholders about the features and functions of the application throughout its development process. The advice we received helped inform the current version being published today.  

If you have any questions about the Alberta Geology, Minerals, and Energy Infrastructure interactive mapping application, please contact us at [email protected] and include “Interactive Mapping Application” in the subject line.


AER: Reminder of Increased Risk During Migratory Bird Season

It is now migratory bird season in the province, and we remind licensees of their responsibility to follow waterfowl protection plans to protect migratory bird populations. During this period, the weather can cause birds to land unexpectedly and in places where they would not normally seek to rest. Licensees must adhere to their plans and ensure that all liquid impoundments within their facilities that could potentially have an adverse impact on migratory bird populations are covered.   

Remember, the timing for migratory bird season can change annually depending on the weather, which may require licensees to extend their bird-deterrent programs past the previous or typical dates. We also remind licensees that certain attractants, such as vegetation around industrial ponds and ditches, can draw in wildlife, including waterfowl, and should be managed to mitigate impacts.

If you have any questions, contact our Customer Contact Centre by phone at 1-855-297-8311 or by email at [email protected].


Alberta team building maps that show health impacts of climate change

(Source: Global News) A University of Alberta research team is creating maps that will show how different regions are impacted by climate change health hazards.

“Climate change, being so big and amorphous, it feels impossible to tackle,” said Sammy Lowe, the research lead for the Climate, Health and Environment Epidemiology Research lab (CHEER). “But, while we’re able to gauge these health impacts, there’s actually things we can do to address them today.”

The project explores how different areas are more or less vulnerable to chronic health conditions caused or exacerbated by climate hazards.

The health conditions include things like respiratory illnesses, mental health issues, cardiovascular disease and dementia. It also factors in the demographics of different areas, since socioeconomic status and age can make someone more or less at risk. And finally, the maps take into account resources in the area that help mitigate these negative impacts.


“We take a bunch of different factors and distill them into three main what we call main domains,” Lowe explained.

Those domains are exposure, sensitivity and adaptation.

“The second domain is sensitivity. These are factors that could potentially worsen or better your exposure … like access to housing, levels of income, age distribution,” Lowe said.

“The final domain is on the flipside… adaptive capacity: your ability to mitigate some of those negative impacts. You can think of adaptive capacity as things like access to green spaces and parks or air conditioning or the number of health clinics or community services nearby.

“If your sensitivity is really high and your exposure is high and your adaptive capacity is low, that’s kind of the worst-case scenario.”

University of Alberta health climate change maps. Courtesy: University of Alberta

The researchers have already created a map of Edmonton as a pilot project.

“Folks, we find, that are living in the western and the southern parts of the city get a lot more exposure to smog and air pollution and that direct heat, whereas folks living closer to the river, in downtown, are actually experiencing sometimes considerably less levels of exposure,” Lowe said.

“The impacts of climate, air pollution, temperature, are not static across the city,” Lowe added. “Based on that, how can we kind of tailor approaches to help mitigate the health impacts that are maybe going to be more relevant for Westmount, or Ellerslie or north Edmonton or downtown?”

This new project will expand on that — looking province-wide.

“In the rural areas, we think (of) great sweeping swaths of nature and a lot of green space, so they must be doing well, but when we think about their access to health services and different mitigation abilities, that is typically a lot less prevalent in these rural areas,” Lowe explained.

“We just really want to highlight to people, but also to stakeholders, governments, health-care providers, that when we’re thinking about the health of our populations, we can’t separate that from climate. This is something that’s really relevant now and conversely, on the positive side, it’s actionable now.

“Say you have this tree-planting initiative. These specific areas seem to be where that’s going to make the most impact whereas this other area, they actually have a lot of green space, but we need to work more on the accessibility of transit to different health centres, for example.”

All the data that goes into creating the index is publicly available. Lowe says it comes from provincial and national environmental labs, meteorological data and the Canadian census.

The team hopes the information displayed in the maps will help as governments create policy, and to guide and inspire decisions by industry, community groups and individuals.

“I know sometimes the picture that’s painted can be a bit grim, but there are these really important, grassroots, community-level actions that we can take today, and that we are taking a lot of today, that, when scaled up to the population level, can have really positive impacts for our health,” Lowe said.


Join ECO Canada’s Environmental Professionals (EP®) community today!

Since 2001, ECO Canada has been dedicated to nurture Canada’s environmental workforce, covering everything from job opportunities and wage funding to certifications and labour market insights. But, did you know that ECO Canada is the exclusive provider of a national professional designation for environmental practitioners nationwide?

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Interested in becoming an Environmental Professional?
Take our eligibility quiz to learn more and initiate the first step of your new career journey!

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Here’s What Our EP®s Are Saying!

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Selenium cleanup costs exceed BC coal mine’s financial obligations, report warns


(Source: ESEMag.com) Just one week after the International Joint Commission announced an official investigation into ongoing selenium contamination from coal mining in British Columbia’s Elk River Valley into Lake Koocanusa, a new report is claiming the cleanup costs to treat just half of the selenium-contaminated water could approach $6.4 billion over 60 years, greatly exceeding the costs that B.C’s Teck Coal is currently required to pay. 

The new report was commissioned by B.C.-based environmental advocacy organization, Wildsight, which states that the cost estimate only reflects remediating part of the selenium contamination in the Kootenay/ai watershed. 

It further states that the financial assurances provided by the company in the form of reclamation security, will be insufficient based on the company’s own past expenditures on the selenium issue. However, the report notes that the B.C. government has the power to increase the level of reclamation security required by Teck under the Mines Act.

“This could mean taxpayers are left to foot a multi-billion-dollar bill if the owner of these mines ever goes under,” Wildsight wrote in a statement on the report by independent consulting firm Burgess Environmental Ltd.

Currently, $1.9 billion is required by the province for Teck to reserve for emergency shutdowns and mine reclamation, and the projected expenses of the company’s initiatives to combat selenium pollution. So far, Teck has allocated over $1.4 billion since 2014 towards mitigating selenium concentrations.

“The true cost of cleaning up environmental damage from Teck’s Elk Valley mines would be far greater than $6.4 billion if you consider other reclamation processes that will have to be done, such as land reforming, revegetation, biodiversity promises, aquifer remediation, and water quality concerns other than selenium,” the report adds.

Wildsight suggests that mining by Teck Coal has quadrupled selenium concentrations in the Kootenay/ai watershed over the past 38 years, exceeding levels considered safe for aquatic and human health. The watershed includes communities such as the B.C. city of Fernie, Lake Koocanusa on the Canada-U.S. border, and water courses flowing through Montana and Idaho.

The report states that its cleanup cost calculations are based on Teck’s own mitigation strategy, which is largely based on building water treatment plants up to 2027 and operating them for 60 years to reduce selenium concentrations. 

Teck plans to add additional treatment facilities between now and 2027 that would result in a total treatment capacity of 150,000 m3 per day, tripling the current capacity.

Teck officials, however, rejected the new report’s financial calculations, suggesting to Reuters that they overstate ongoing water treatment operating costs alone by 50-60%.

The Wildsight report comes as Teck prepares to sell a majority stake of its Elk Valley coal mining business to Swiss mining giant Glencore in a $6.9 billion dollar deal. Glencore has publicly declared its intention to spin off the merged coal assets within two years and list the integrated coal unit on the New York Stock Exchange.


IOWA County fertilizer spill killed more than 749,000 fish

RED OAK  – The fertilizer spill near Red Oak in Montgomery County earlier this month killed nearly all the fish in an almost 50-mile stretch of the East Nishnabotna River to the Missouri border. 

On March 11, NEW Cooperative, Inc. in Red Oak notified the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) of a release occurring on-site. Approximately 1,500 tons (265,000 gallons) of liquid nitrogen fertilizer (32% solution) discharged into a drainage ditch, then into the East Nishnabotna River. The release occurred due to an aboveground storage tank valve left open for the weekend. 

Upon learning of the release, DNR staff from the Environmental Field Office worked with the NEW Cooperative staff to stop the release and began cleanup efforts. DNR Fisheries staff began investigating the impacts to the Nishnabotna River. 

DNR Fisheries staff documented the fish kill occurring in all 49.8 miles of the East Nishnabotna and Nishnabotna Rivers downstream of the spill. The kill continued in Missouri’s portion of the Nishnabotna River and ended near the confluence with the Missouri River.

DNR Fisheries staff used methods outlined in American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 35, and 571 Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 113 to evaluate the extent of the fish kill and estimate the number of dead fish. The rules and the use of the American Fisheries Society’s methodology are authorized by Iowa Code section 481A.151.

The fish kill count as of March 28th is below. Investigations of the release’s impact to other aquatic life are ongoing.

SpeciesNumber of Fish
Minnow Shiner Dace Chub707,871
Common Carp9,255
Channel Catfish7,681
Flathead Catfish264
Green Sunfish935
Silver Carp67
Largemouth Bass69
Grass Carp, diploid6,654


Cleanup efforts at the NEW Cooperative facility are ongoing. Contaminated soils continue to be removed from the facility and from around a levee west of the facility. The contaminated soils will be land applied at approved locations, at agronomic rates consistent with Iowa law. Additionally, NEW Cooperative is pumping water from the east side of the levee. The pumped water will be stored in on-site holding tanks until land application can occur. A third-party consultant is collecting samples of the water-fertilizer mixture to determine accurate land application rates. 

Per Iowa Code section 455B.186, a pollutant cannot be discharged into a river without a permit. DNR field staff are working with the DNR’s Legal Services Bureau to determine next steps with regards to enforcement action and restitution for lost aquatic life. The DNR will continue to monitor cleanup efforts.

Field test results indicate ammonia levels are declining in the river. The DNR continues to advise people to avoid recreating on the river and collecting and/or eating dead fish found on or near the river.



Remediation Technology News and Resource

(The following are selected items from the US EPA’s Tech Direct – http://clu-in.org/techdirect/)

Upcoming Live Internet Seminars

ITRC Beyond the Basics: PFAS Human Health, Ecological Effects and Regulations Training – April 23, 2024, 1:00PM-3:00PM EDT (17:00-19:00 GMT). This training class builds on the earlier information for introductory PFAS topics presented in the PFAS 101 CLU-IN training, an archive of which is available at , an archive of which is available at https://www.clu-in.org/conf/itrc/PFAS-Introductory_091423/ . It provides more in-depth information for human health effects, ecological toxicity and ecological risk assessment, PFAS regulations, and AFFF alternatives and replacement. For more information and to register, see https://www.itrcweb.org or https://www.clu-in.org/live.

SRP Progress in Research Webinar Series: Emerging Technologies in Occupational Health and Safety Training and Education – Session I: April 26, 2024, 1:00PM-3:00PM EDT (17:00-19:00 GMT). The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) is hosting their 2024 Progress in Research webinar series showcasing federally-funded researchers developing curricula and educational programs focused on emergent technologies in the sphere of occupational health and safety. Over the three sessions, presenters will highlight their research projects and accomplishments – included in this group of researchers are SRP’s Occupational Health and Safety Training Education Programs on Emerging Technologies grant recipients. For more information and to register for the live event, see https://www.clu-in.org/live.

ITRC Sediment Cap Chemical Isolation Training – April 30, 2024, 1:00PM-3:00PM EDT (17:00-19:00 GMT) . In 2023, ITRC published the Sediment Cap Chemical Isolation Guidance to supplement the 2014 Contaminated Sediments Remediation Guidance with the goal of improving consistency in sediment cap performance outcomes. Sediment capping is a commonly selected remediation approach and numerous designs have been completed. Previous cap designs have been evaluated in multiple ways, and these varying approaches have led to some differences in selection of chemical design criteria, construction tolerance specifications, and monitoring/maintenance objectives for sites with similar characteristics and contaminants, leading to different expectations for long-term performance and reliability. The Sediment Cap Chemical Isolation Training will cover several key elements of the recommended framework. For more information and to register, see https://www.itrcweb.org or https://clu-in.org/live.

SRP Progress in Research Webinar Series: Emerging Technologies in Occupational Health and Safety Training and Education – Session II
– May 3, 2024, 1:00PM-3:00PM EDT (17:00-19:00 GMT). 
The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) is hosting their 2024 Progress in Research webinar series showcasing federally-funded researchers developing curricula and educational programs focused on emergent technologies in the sphere of occupational health and safety. Over the three sessions, presenters will highlight their research projects and accomplishments – included in this group of researchers are SRP’s Occupational Health and Safety Training Education Programs on Emerging Technologies grant recipients. For more information and to register for the live event, see https://www.clu-in.org/live.

New Documents and Web Resources

Sustainable Treatment System Caps Off Cleanup at Elizabeth Mine Superfund Site. The Elizabeth Mine site is an abandoned copper mine located in Vermont and was added to the Superfund National Priorities list in 2001. EPA researchers worked with a team of other experts on the cleanup efforts to solve complex problems at the abandoned mine site. For more information, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/sciencematters/sustainable-treatment-system-caps-cleanup-elizabeth-mine-superfund-site

Research Brief 351: Using Earth Materials to Remove Metals Near Abandoned Mines. NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded researchers developed a new strategy that uses limestone and a naturally occurring mineral to clean up water contaminated with arsenic and uranium — two of the most frequently detected drinking water pollutants in Tribal communities. More than 600,000 American Indians in the Southwestern U.S. are estimated to live within six miles of an abandoned mining site, which can contain mixtures of arsenic, uranium, and other toxic elements. These contaminants can pollute the local air, water, and soil. For more information, please visit https://tools.niehs.nih.gov/srp/researchbriefs/view.cfm?Brief_ID=351

Technology Innovation News Survey Corner. The Technology Innovation News Survey contains market/commercialization information; reports on demonstrations, feasibility studies and research; and other news relevant to the hazardous waste community interested in technology development. Recent issues, complete archives, and subscription information is available at https://www.clu-in.org/products/tins/. The following resources were included in recent issues:

    • High-Resolution Passive Profiling to Monitor Contaminated Sediments in Support of Remediation Evaluation and Risk Characterization
    • Development, Evaluation, and Technology Transfer of BMPS for Optimizing Removal of PAHS, PCBS, PFAS, and Metals from Stormwater at DOD Sites
    • Prevention of Sediment Recontamination by Improved BMPS to Remove Organic and Metal Contaminants from Stormwater Runoff


EUGRIS Corner. New Documents on EUGRIS, the platform for European contaminated soil and water information. More than 4 resources, events, projects and news items were added to EUGRIS in March 2024. These can be viewed at http://www.eugris.info/whatsnew.asp . Then select the appropriate month and year for the updates in which you are interested. The following resource was posted on EUGRIS:

Remediation Management for Local and Wide-spread PFAS Contamination (2020). This publication (report number FB000332/ENG) was produced by the German Federal Environment Agency. PFAS⁠ – as a group of substances – are becoming increasingly important in the treatment of contaminated sites and harmful soil changes. The present work aid “Remediation management for local and area-wide PFAS contaminations” supports the responsible authorities in the pre-selection, evaluation and decision for a suitable and proportionate remediation procedure, shows relevant basic conditions and accompanying measures. Due to the different substance properties of PFAS, the possible remediation procedures must also be evaluated on a substance-specific basis. The advantages and disadvantages, the technical and approval requirements as well as their sustainability are shown for the possible remediation methods. View or download from https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/en/publikationen/remediation-management-for-local-wide-spread-pfas


Upcoming Events

ESAA Environmental Summit

April 15-17, 2024
Kananaskis Mountain Lodge

Starts in 11 Days – Have You Registered?

The Draft Agenda is now available for the 2nd annual ESAA Summit – April 15 – 17th at the Kananaskis Mountain Lodge.

Agenda features 8 panel discussions:

  • Navigating Waste and ESG Reporting: Unraveling Complexity with Technology
  • Toward Sustainable Development: Dual (and Competing) Imperatives for Industry and Municipalities
  • Net Zero – What Does This Mean and What Can We Do? ESG and the Environmental Sector
  • Sustainability in Action: Navigating Complexities of the Three Pillars of Sustainability
  • Wildfires – Disaster Management Risk Management and Climate Resiliency
  • What Does Water Have To Do With It?  – Critical Thinking with Drought Strategies Finding A Realistic Approach to Stewardship
  • Breathe of Fresh Air .. Maybe? Balancing Noise, Odour, Particulate and Contaminant Air Emissions
  • Navigating the Environmental Business Landscape: A Comprehensive Approach to Risk Management, Insurance and Liability Mitigation
The program also includes an Indigenous Awareness and Inclusion Panel – Walking towards Economic Reconciliation and the ESAA Annual General Meeting and two great keynotes.
Emissions Reduction Alberta
Justin Riemer, Emissions Reduction Alberta

Technology & Artificial Intelligence in the Wild
Brian Keating, Going Wild 

Full details at: Agenda – ESAA

Hotel Accommodations: The 2024 edition will take place at the Kananaskis Mountain Lodge.   Discover an extraordinary experience at Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, Autograph Collection, where you’re surrounded by mountainous beauty and modern luxury. Nestled against the enchanting Canadian Rockies, our upscale hotel is perfect for unique summer and winter activities.  Room rates at the Kananaskis Mountain Lodge start at $245 + taxes.  Book your room at: Kananaskis Mountain Lodge – ESAA

Registration: Register now at: Register – ESAA

ESAA Job Board

Check out the new improved ESAA Job Board.  Members can post ads for free.

Current Listings:
  • Environmental Co-op Student – Trace Associates Inc.
  • Environmental Student – Trace Associates Inc.
  • Junior Geoscientist – Trace Associates Inc.
  • Junior Environmental Scientist – Trace Associates Inc.
  • Senior Environmental Planner –Stantec
  • Site Investigation & Remediation (SIR) Team Lead –Stantec Consulting Services Inc.
  • REMEDIATION LEAD – Salix Resource Management Ltd.
  • Senior Environmental Project Manager – Arletta Environmental Consulting
  • Senior Environmental Scientist – Solstice Environmental Management
  • Senior Ecologist – Solstice Environmental Management
  • Risk Assessor & Technical Reporter – Arletta Environmental Consulting
  • Reclamation Coordinator –
  • Arletta Environmental Consulting Corp
  • Network Coordinator – ClimateWest
  • Project Coordinator – ClimateWest
  • Project Technologist –Pinchin Ltd.


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